Category Archives: United Nations

Things are not Good in Darfur

Eric Reeves, yesterday published an extensive analysis of the situation in Darfur, “Darfur in the still deepening shadow of lies,” which is well worth reading. Right now the situation seems to be one in which the UN/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reports about the situation in a way that is almost exactly opposite that of the human rights organizations operating in the region. Reeves headlines his article on Darfur with words that should give you a good idea of what he found when he looked at the situation:

The United Nations continues with its cynical policy of “see no evil, hear no evil…report no evil” in Darfur. This institutional corruption, and active distortion of the truth, works to exacerbate massive human suffering and continuing destruction—with the growing risk that Darfur will be entirely eclipsed and engulfed in catastrophic violence.

Negotiations and Urgency

Thabo Mbeki of the African Union met with South Sudan President Salva Kiir to discuss arranging negotiations with Sudan. South Sudan’s response, “Sure, let’s meet.” Sudan’s response, “No, give us what we want to achieve in the negotiations as preconditions for negotiations and then we’ll negotiate.” You can read more about the meeting between Mbeki and Kiir here.

In other news, the United States has donated $30 million to the UN World Food Program to address food insecurity in South Sudan. The donation will be delivered through the US Agency for International Development (USAID). While we have discussed the need to get food aid into the Nuba Mountains before the rainy season hits, there is also a major need to get aid to many regions within South Sudan. According to USAID’s press release:

Due to South Sudan’s poor road network, about 60 percent of the country will become inaccessible during the rainy season. This contribution helps WFP complete prepositioning of much-needed commodities across South Sudan, where roads will soon become impassable.

Meanwhile, Sudan and the UN have grossly differing estimates for the number of refugees from Sudan who are currently in neighboring countries. Sudan’s estimates are less than half of those of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Regardless, hundreds of thousands of Sudanese now reside in neighboring countries because of the inhuman conduct of the Khartoum regime in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile, while hundreds of thousands more are internally displaced. Remember that the several hundred thousands Christian former citizens of Sudan have become “South Sudanese” in the eyes of the Khartoum government and are being pressured to leave. In addition, many thousands more in the border region of South Sudan have also been displaced because of Khartoum’s cross border bombing campaign and cross border raids.

Sudan Council of Churches Office in South Darfur Ordered Closed

Sudan has raided and closed the offices of the Sudan Council of Churches in Nyala along with Sudan Aid without giving any notice, according to a report from Compass Direct News. Three employees of Sudan aid were arrested. National Intelligence and Security Services also shuttered a church that was caring for the needy in the area.

Sudan Accepts UNSC Resolution

Sudan has accepted “with reservations” the UNSC resolution seeking an end to hostilities between Sudan and South Sudan. The resolution also requires Sudan to negotiate with the SPLM-North in South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions. The Sudanese parliament rejected the use of the term “disputed” to refer to those territories and others which South Sudan also claims.

Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Ali Karti, seemed to take issue with Omar Bashir’s rhetoric of late, proposing that Bashir’s confrontational language makes South Sudan “appear” to be the victim. The Foreign Minister noted that:

The talk that they [SPLM leaders] are a group that only understands the stick was interpreted to be referring to the poem of [Abu El-Tayib] El-Mutanabi that says “you shall not buy a slave without a stick” and the term insect was likened to the use of the term cockroaches by the Hutu against the Tutsi during the Rwandan massacres.

The Sudan Tribune adds that:

Karti cautioned that Africa was still reeling from “an inferiority complex” that makes its leaders prone to interpreting any statement within certain contexts even if it was well-intentioned.

I am trying to figure out how these terms could be “well-intentioned” coming from a man wanted by the ICC for genocide in Darfur while hearing them in the context of attempted genocide in the Nuba Mountains. Seems to me that it is fairly clear that Bashir’s rhetoric is appropriate for his aim and that the world needs to see Bashir for what he is, a wanted war criminal seeking unashamedly to commit more war crimes.

Act for Sudan Press Release about Kauda

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Elizabeth Blackney, 541 390 1913, eliz@medializzy.com

SUDAN DEFIES US AND UNSC, ESCALATES ETHNIC VIOLENCE

Bishop Andudu speaks out against ethnic cleansing, Activists urge strong consequences

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 10, 2012 – Act for Sudan urges the United States, the United Nations, the African Union and the Arab League to issue a strong warning to the Government of Sudan that if it carries out an attack on Kauda Valley, it can expect immediate and debilitating consequences.
While activists appreciate recent efforts by the United Nations to address the humanitarian crisis and to resolve the outstanding issues that have instigated violent conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan, these measures will not save the lives of Sudanese living in Kauda Valley and throughout the Nuba Mountains who are in grave danger.

In January, George Clooney’s Satellite Sentinel Project provided clear evidence that the Government of Sudan was preparing a final assault against the Nuba people living in Kauda Valley, Southern Kordofan.

President Omar al-Bashir and his assistant, Nafie Ali Nafie, confirmed the government’s intentions and the Satellite Sentinel Project’s predictions. According to a Sudan Tribune article dated May 8, 2012, Nafie indicated that the army is close to taking control of the area and Bashir threatened to hold prayers in Kauda this Friday.

While Kauda Valley is the stronghold of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement North, a member of the Sudan Revolutionary Front which has vowed to overthrow Bashir’s regime, the tactics of the Government of Sudan violate international norms and the spirit of the United Nations Resolution 2046 dated May 2, 2012.

Since June 2011, the Government of Sudan has indiscriminately and continuously bombed Kauda Valley. It has blocked humanitarian aid from reaching civilians and it has cut-off the main evacuation route for those attempting to escape. The Government of Sudan has trapped and subjected its citizens to months of terror and violence. Before the rainy season begins, it intends to carry out a final military campaign to eliminate those who have not succumbed to starvation.

According to Bishop Andudu, the Anglican Bishop of the capital of Southern Kordofan, Kauda Valley in the Nuba Mountains was home to a diverse population, a place where Muslims and Christians lived and worked together peacefully. He noted, “however, the people who are being killed by the Sudanese government in the Nuba Mountains are mostly black Africans – both Christians and Muslims and animists.”

Act for Sudan has consistently sounded the alarm about the spectre of the Government of Sudan’s systematic behavior of breaking agreements to allow humanitarian aid as well as those that require a cessation of violence, most recently in a letter to the United Nations Security Council dated April 24, 2012.
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Act for Sudan is an alliance of 68 American and Sudanese grassroots organizations that advocate for an end to genocide and mass atrocities in Sudan. Act for Sudan is dedicated to advocacy that is directly informed by the situation on the ground and by Sudanese people who urgently seek protection, justice, and peace. For more information please visit http://www.actforsudan.org.

South Sudan has Left Abyei. Will Sudan Follow?

South Sudan has complied with the UN Security Council resolution and withdrawn its troops from the disputed territory of Abyei. Will Sudan follow suit? AU chief, Jean Ping, called on the government of the Sudan to:

Reciprocate and withdraw its forces from Abyei, in line with its acceptance of the Roadmap and the timetable contained therein. With the effective deployment of UNISFA, there is no longer need for any other force to remain in Abyei.

Why Help Nuba? – A Short Video